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#73132 - 09/10/06 04:23 PM Getting Out: A Vehicle Option

Now that I have my various size kits in order, I've been looking at vehicle options to become mobile by various methods should the need arise: I thought I would present one of the options I have identified. Again, one's family size, and the population density of the regions where you live, will vary one's needs.

From replies to past posts, many of you are prepared and have good plans to get out of a region quickly, some with already supplied options, such as a camper or motor home, and some with added transportation options, like an SUV, motorcycles or ATV in tow. The idea of starting to travel with different modes of transportation is truly good planning, IMHO.

I have identified a piece of equipment that is pretty amazing and I'll let you folks read and digest the information on these Ural Motocycles two-wheel drive Russian made motorcycles. They've been around since 1940 and are still being made from the same factory. The two models with two wheel drive are the Patrol and the Gear Up.
Tell me what you think.

#73133 - 09/10/06 06:09 PM Re: Getting Out: A Vehicle Option
jamesraykenney Offline

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 315
Loc: Beaumont, TX USA
I think the Raven is 2wd too.

#73134 - 09/11/06 02:15 AM Re: Getting Out: A Vehicle Option
stormadvisor Offline

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 87
Loc: Ohio
Never heard of them before but they look good. I'm not a motorcyclist so you can take it how you will. Wouldn't mind one though.

Can't change the weather. Might as well enjoy it.

#73135 - 09/11/06 02:29 AM Re: Getting Out: A Vehicle Option
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
Back when I both had a motorcycle and contacts over in the Russian oilfields I looked into the Ural motorcycles. The basic response was, "If you buy three you'll have one that works, for a while anyway." These motorcycles have quality control issues up the wazoo.

If you are interested in on/off road motorcycles look at the current crop of dual-sports. I'm partial to the Kawaski KLX 650 though if I had the money the BMW GS looks pretty sweet, too.

Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

#73136 - 09/11/06 03:02 AM Re: Getting Out: A Vehicle Option
redflare Offline

Registered: 12/25/05
Posts: 647
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
Russian made stuff has always been of questionable quality (AK47 excepted) and finding spare parts in the US would be difficult since these are not overly popular.

just my two cents

#73137 - 09/11/06 04:35 AM Re: Getting Out: A Vehicle Option
defoglesong Offline

Registered: 04/29/04
Posts: 10
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
Urals have had a lot of quality control issues in the past. The US distributor has made great strides in getting the factory to address the problems, and current models are far more reliable than a unit made even a couple years ago. I work with someone who has a Ural Gear-Up (the 2wd camo model) and he hasn't (so far) had any major issues with his rig in the year or so he's had it.

Some things to keep in mind:

* The Ural is essentially a 60 year old design. That means you can rebuild the engine on the side of the road with common tools if necessary. It also means you may HAVE to rebuild the engine on the side of the road. (If you're mechanically inclined and like working on engines, this could be a selling point.)

Think about the Ural this way: Would you use a 1940 Ford truck as your bug-out vehicle? You might if you knew a lot about working on 1940 Fords. You probably wouldn't if you were uncomfortable changing your car's oil.

* Driving a sidecar rig is very different from riding a two-wheeled motorcycle. If you decide to pursue the Ural option, look into taking a S/TEP (sidecar/trike education program) class. Many of the same groups that teach MSF (motorcycle safety foundation) rider courses also offer sidecar training. One nice part of the S/TEP (and MSF) classes: They provide the bikes to learn on.

* A sidecar rig isn't much narrower than a car. A Jeep can go more places than the Ural, carry more people and gear, and is far easier to find parts (and mechanics) for.

Here's a source for more info: Go to www.advrider.com and do a search for "ural sidecar". You should get a bunch of threads about them.

My 2 cents: I've been riding motorcycles for years. I took the S/TEP class a couple years ago to learn how to ride a sidecar rig. One of the rigs provided for the class was a Ural (not 2wd, though). I liked it a lot, but it felt like riding a 40 year old motorcycle. If I had the money and garage space, I'd love to have a Ural rig for fun -- but I'll keep my Toyota 4x4 truck to use as my bug-out vehicle.

Dave F>

#73138 - 09/11/06 12:39 PM Re: Getting Out: Ural 2WD Motorcycles

A few points in favor of the 2WD Ural Motorcycles:

The new Urals are very reliable since the new representatives in Redmond Washington have been working with Russian quality control for the past few years.

The upgrades include modern carborators, alternators and disc brakes.

All parts for these motorcycles are readily available by many Ural dealers in the USA.

The Ural is about 65" wide so it will fit in the back of most pickup trucks; much narrower than a typical jeep or SUV.

These vehicles can carry 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 kids and plenty of gear. Yes the sidecar bikes take time to learn how to drive safely.

I would indeed rather have a simple vehicle I can fix by the side of the road rather than abandon the other options and have no wheels at all; but then I'm a tinkerer and good at fixing things.

There's a reason these bikes are still made and used by the military of fifteen European countries and NATO; because research indicates they're durable, repairable and proof tested for decades. This is not casual research or hearsay, but research by military standards; the ultimate survival testing IMHO.

#73139 - 09/11/06 05:41 PM Re: Getting Out: A Vehicle Option
teacher Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 910
given the possible issues with parts, reliability and space you might look at a used jeep from the 80's or 90's.

#73140 - 09/11/06 05:55 PM Re: Getting Out: A Vehicle Option
aloha Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 1047
Loc: Hawaii, USA
If you ride one, light any other nike, make sure you hit the back brakes first or at least at the same time unless you can do front wheelies. The Urals have Brembos in the front!

#73141 - 09/11/06 08:56 PM Re: Getting Out: A Vehicle Option

Yeah, great brakes. Luckily, there's enough weight on the Ural to keep the back of the motorcycle down (at least when the sidecar is loaded!) I can get enough gear in the trunk to accomodate three for a comfortable 72 hour getaway. That's a bit of weight too.

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